When I was little, I could speak five languages.
Second-grade Mandarain, sesame-street Spanish, I could count to three in Japanese and I could say exactly one sentence in German. I don’t think I need to tell you my native language (Bengali, obvs.) That all counts right?
My one shining German sentence was, ironically enough, “Ich kann nicht sprechen Deutsch.” I can’t speak German.
Courtesy of my mom, thanks to her study abroad adventures in Germany. Actually, Erik can actually speak German sort of fluently and I like to demand he say things to me in it. Aren’t we all suckers for foreign accents? /sigh.
Unfortunately, I have no idea what an accurate pronunciation of this is, which is a shame because this is the fluffiest pancake you will EVER eat, and I think that deserves accuracy.
Regardless. To the pancake.
I first discovered kaiserschmarrn here and was fascinated by the idea of a thick, scrambled crepe served all chopped up. “Kaiserchmarrn” apparently derives from the words “kaiser” (emperor) and “schmieren” (to smear) because apparently Kaiser Franz Joseph loved this pancake so much, it got a special name. Traditionally, kaiserschmarrn is shredded or chopped into pieces during or after frying and served with some kind of fruit compote. All over that!
But THEN I saw this outrageously fluffy thing billed under the same name there was just no question: outrageously fluffy pancake version wins over scrambled crepe version every time.
Though I don’t normally whip egg whites for my pancakes (a laborious extra step when you can get fluffy pancakes without it), this pancake’s volume relies on four egg whites whipped to stiff peaks, which is folded into a foamy batter that cooks up so tall and buttery and golden you’ll be questioning whether you made cornbread or a pancake.
Except the texture is far from cornbread—more of a custardy, eggy, airy slab of pancake fried in butter that tastes insanely decadent but there’s actually no fat in the pancake itself, just the fat you use to fry it. It’s kind of like a stovetop dutch baby, except thicker. Which means MORE DELICIOUS in my book. And it’s not overly sweet, which means it is heavenly drizzled with honey and compote, or just strewn with chunks of ripe peach or whatever other fruit you have on hand. There’s some tricky flipping in this recipe, but don’t worry–I got you covered!
The pancake was already fully cooked when I made this gif, but in real life, the top of the pancake will still be wet and barely set when you slide it out of the pan onto a plate. This is how you flip it!
Pancake Friday: Kaiserschmarrn
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs separated
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter
- honey peaches, or other fruit for topping
- In a large bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add the milk, vanilla and egg yolks. Gently whisk together all the wet ingredients to combine in the well, then start to incorporate the flour mixture into the wet—this will help ensure a lump-free batter.
- In a separate bowl with an electric mixer, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Continue whipping, and gradually add the sugar until the egg whites form stiff, glossy peaks.
- Place a 10-inch non-stick pan on medium heat and add 1.5 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is almost melted, quickly fold the egg whites into the batter until well combined. The butter should now be fully melted and bubbling (possibly browning!)—swirl it around the pan to evenly coat the bottom, quickly pour the batter into the pan and place the lid on. The pancake should need 5-10 minutes on the first side, depending on your pan size.
- Once the pancake is browned on the bottom (use a spatula to peek), and setting on the top, slide the pancake out onto a large flat plate, using your spatula to assist. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and drizzle the melted butter over the partially cooked top of the pancake on the plate. Place the now empty skillet over the top of the pancake and carefully flip the whole plate/pancake/skillet upside down, so the pancake is back in the skillet. The second side should need another 5-10 minutes.
- Slice, drizzle with honey and chopped peaches and EAT! If you have leftovers, I liked them best reheated in a pan over medium heat until slightly toasty around the edges and light as air in the middle.